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Why Podcast Sponsorship is 'Dumb': The True Value in Podcasting

Updated: Jun 9

Hey there! Joseph Haecker here.

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Podcasters on Podcasting magazine, and it was an incredible experience. We delved deep into the misconceptions surrounding podcast sponsorship and why I believe so passionately that marketers need to understand the true value of podcasting.

Even many podcasters don’t fully grasp the potential of what they’re doing. Some see it as just a hobby—but let me tell you, it’s definitely NOT. Podcasting offers a real opportunity for brands and businesses to build and engage with their community when you partner with the right podcast.

A podcast that understands how to deliver value to their partners and sponsors can be a game-changer. It's not just about downloads or follower counts; it's about creating events, accessing influential guests, and providing evergreen content that continues to benefit everyone involved.

I'm excited to share more insights from the interview, and I hope it sparks some great conversations about how we can better leverage this medium for meaningful engagement and growth.




"Why Podcast Sponsorship is 'Dumb'

The True Value in Podcasting"

by Podcasters on Podcasting Magazine

Written by Rick Garcia, Editor-at-large

In the bustling world of podcasts, where metrics often dominate discussions, Joseph Haecker, host of the Design Talk LIVE Podcast, is redefining the game. Joseph's journey from a spontaneous Facebook rant to becoming a podcasting pioneer has been anything but conventional. In an exclusive interview with Rick Garcia for "Podcasters, on Podcasting," Joseph reveals why traditional sponsorship models miss the mark and how his unique approach delivers tangible results. From the high-energy origins of Design Talk LIVE to the impactful in-person events planned for Season 3, this conversation delves into the true value of podcasting and offers insights that could transform your marketing strategy.


Interview with Joseph Haecker: Why Sponsoring a Podcast is "Dumb" but His Model Produces Real ROI

Rick Garcia: So, podcasters and marketing people everywhere think that podcasting is related to 'downloads or a podcast'. But when was the last time 'you' downloaded a podcast?

Joseph Haecker: Exactly, Rick. The truth is, we only download a podcast when traveling, or to bookmark our favorite ones. But that does not actually capture the complete audience. It's a common misconception in the industry.

Rick Garcia: Tell us how the Design Talk LIVE Podcast got started.

Joseph Haecker: It all began while I was sitting at a hotel in Los Angeles, by LAX. I scheduled to go LIVE on Facebook the next morning to rant about my friends who I had just seen at High Point Market in North Carolina. That impromptu rant evolved into Design Talk LIVE, which cleared 3.2 million views on Facebook and attracted design show celebrities, models, TV and movie stars.

Rick Garcia: Impressive! And then in 2019, you began producing shows, but you mentioned getting the formula wrong. Can you elaborate?

Joseph Haecker: Sure, I had a staff of six full-time reps in Las Vegas selling advertising and sponsorship, just like any other podcast. What I re-learned was that my sponsors in 2018 weren't sponsoring the show per se. They were paying to be part of the show's vortex of talent, celebrity, and network. My sponsors were paying for access and events, not just a mention on the podcast. It was an expensive lesson, but it taught me the true value of podcasting.

Rick Garcia: So, what is the true value of podcasting, if it's not about downloads and followers?

Joseph Haecker: The value in podcasting lies in a few key areas:

  1. Access: The ability to call almost anyone and invite them to be a guest on my podcast.

  2. Events: Creating events where we invite customers, clients, and communities to meet and engage with their favorite influencers. We document these conversations, making them "evergreen," so more people can benefit from them.

Rick Garcia: It sounds like podcasting is a perfect pairing for brands and marketing reps.

Joseph Haecker: Absolutely. By partnering with a podcast that understands its true value lies in access to influencers, events, and entertainment, brands can turn their investment into a valuable marketing strategy. It's not about the downloads; it's about the impact and engagement.

Rick Garcia: So, in your opinion, why is sponsoring a podcast "dumb"?

Joseph Haecker: Sponsoring a podcast is "dumb" if you're only looking at traditional metrics like downloads and followers. Brands and marketers should not invest in sponsoring a podcast without understanding its broader value. The real investment should be in partnering with a podcast that can create engaging events and provide access to influencers.

Rick Garcia: What's next for Design Talk LIVE?

Joseph Haecker: We're accepting sponsorships for season 3, and for a limited time, all sponsorship levels include at least one in-person event. We're taking the show on the road to host in-person podcasts at showrooms throughout the country and world. It's all about community, events, and real engagement.

Rick Garcia: That sounds fantastic. For those interested in partnering with Design Talk LIVE, where can they get more information?

Joseph Haecker: They can visit our website at for more information and to become a sponsor for season 3.

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